Fighting Back: Jennifer Wersal’s Story of Breast Cancer Survival and Volunteerism
In the late fall of 1999, Jennifer Wersal was a 30-year-old woman thinking about starting a family when she felt something unusual in one breast. Soon thereafter, during her annual well woman checkup, she asked her physician to check it out. Because of her age, he was not convinced it was anything. He did not completely dismiss the lump, however, and had her come back in a month. Although the lump had not changed size, he sent her for a sonogram, which was inconclusive. Finally, during a subsequent surgery to remove what may have been a benign lump, the other side of the removed tissue showed an aggressive form of breast cancer.
That diagnosis came the week between the day she had registered for and then participated in the 2000 Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth Race for the Cure—her first Komen experience. “We placed last for our age group,” she laughs today.
How better, then, to celebrate her 20th year of survival as being named chair of the 2020 More Than Pink Walk, taking place at 7 a.m., Saturday, April 25 at Clearfork in Fort Worth.
Jennifer’s association with Komen Greater Fort Worth has been varied–as a volunteer, as a staff member for eight and a half years, and as an employee of longtime Walk sponsor Kroger. Today she works for a commercial real estate firm in Fort Worth, does freelance marketing, and has a busy family life. Living in Aledo, that includes keeping up with her high school senior’s baseball schedule in Abilene and Wichita Falls.
She looks forward to a few changes in the Walk this year, including improvements to the KoMen Cave and a new site layout that will enhance the walkers’ experience.
Jennifer has words of advice for anyone thinking of participating in the upcoming Walk.
“You just have to experience the event,” Jennifer says. “I had no idea how great it was until I participated. I learned so much and met so many great people, some of whom I’m still friends with today. It’s a great way to get family, co-workers and friends together to rally for a good cause.”